The Bikepacking Essentials of 2015

Why walk when you can roll? 
Aaron Gulley

 

(Michael Karsh)

Why walk when you can roll? 
Aaron Gulley

 

bikepacking
(Michael Karsh)


Jones Plus bike

With three-inch tires for traction and stability, the steel-frame Plus ($6,020) is the finest bikepacking rig available. The upright stance and carbon H-bars make for comfy riding, while the 11-speed Shimano XTR cassette has ample gear range. And the bike comes with enough tailor-made packs to easily carry a week’s worth of gear. jonesbikes.com

Jones
(Michael Karsh)


Osprey Rev 18 pack

At just over a pound, this wispy hydration pack ($120) uses mesh in the straps, back panel, and pockets to cut weight while adding breathability. ospreypacks.com 

osprey
(Michael Karsh)


Spot Gen3 messenger

Think of a satellite messenger ($150) as an insurance policy. The GPS tracks progress, while the SOS button sends for help if things ever go south. findmespot.com

spot
(Michael Karsh)


Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 Platinum tent

An engineering miracle, this tent ($550) packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle, yet it sleeps two adults, with space in the vestibule for gear. And we stayed happily dry when the weather got nasty. bigagnes.com

Big
(Michael Karsh)


MontBell Down Hugger 900 #5 sleeping bag

Packed with 900-fill down, the Hugger ($419) kept us warm even below its advertised 40-degree threshold. Diagonal seams and baffles provided enough give to wiggle, and best of all, it compresses down as small as a grapefruit. montbell.us

montebell
(Michael Karsh)


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite pad

Though it’s about half the size of other ultralight pads, this 2.5-inch-thick air mattress ($160) is as cushy as a full-size blow-up bed. Updated material reduces the crinkle that plagued the first version. cascadedesigns.com

Therm-aRest
(Michael Karsh)


Pearl Izumi X-Project 1.0 shoes

The X-Project ($320) bridges the gap between cycling shoe and hiking boot. A carbon-fiber plate keeps the midsole firm for pedaling, but built-in flex makes walking comfortable. pearlizumi.com 

pearl
(Michael Karsh)


Fenix BTR20 light

The BTR20 ($140) packs 800 lumens into a rechargeable-battery-powered package. With one unit on the bars and another on the rack, we got many hours of light over a two-week backcountry expedition. fenixlighting.com

Fenix
(Michael Karsh)


Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium stove

For less than the weight of a Clif Bar, you get warm food at night and hot coffee in the morning. If you’re careful, the small fuel tank ($60) will last a full week. snowpeak.com

snowpeak
(Michael Karsh)

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